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LNBA Warns Prospective Jurors Against Inducement
By Ballah M. Kollie
MONROVIA, November 2 (LINA) - The President of the Liberia National Bar Association (LNBA), Cllr. Moses Paegar, has urged jurors to bind themselves against the temptation of inducement and take their duty seriously.
He said negative criticisms against the judiciary can be abolished when jurors are independent and render justice in an impartial form and manner.
Cllr. Paegar gave the admonition in his keynote address at the orientation of prospective jurors at a recent in the Banquet Hall of the Temple of Justice on Capitol Hill in Monrovia.
Speaking on the topic: ‘Jury Service, the Liberian Experience’, Paegar quoted Articles 20a and 21h of the 1986 Constitution as giving every citizen the right to jury trial unless waived by a party who must be educated on the consequences of his waiver.
According to Article 20a, “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, security, property, privilege or any other right, except as a result of the outcome of a hearing judgment consistent with the provisions laid down in the Constitution and in accordance with due process of law.
“Justice shall be done without sale, denial or delay; and in all cases not arising in courts not of record, under courts-martial and upon impeachment, the parties shall have the right to trial by jury.”
Article 21h, for its part, says: “No person shall be held to answer for a capital or infamous crime except in cases of impeachment, cases arising in the Armed Forces and petty offenses, unless upon indictment by Grand Jury; and in all such cases, the accused shall have the right to a speedy, public and impartial trial by a jury of the vicinity, unless such person shall, with appropriate understanding, expressly
waive the right to a jury trial.”
The LNBA official described these constitutional provisions as the reasons for jury trial.
In remarks, the National Jury Manager, Cllr. George Katakpah, challenged jurors to see their functions and duties as a creed that must form part of their daily recitation in order to be guided by them.
Welcoming participants and prospective jurors to the sixth edition of the orientation, Cllr. Katakpah lauded prospective jurors for showing up for a national cause.
He cautioned them not to allow themselves to be influenced by any person who is not a member of the jury, and urged them to, at all times, keep statements made in the jury room confidential.